Why You Should Turn Off Journal Suggestions on Your iPhone – CNET

As a writer, you would think that I would love the idea of a free app that invites me to reflect on my day and jot down my feelings and thoughts. I just don’t feel that way about the new Journal app on my iPhone.

There’s nothing wrong with Journal — it’s a perfectly fine app. I have friends and family who use it every day. I’m just personally not interested in journaling on my phone. And that should be the end of it, right? I don’t want to use the app, so I don’t … but unfortunately, it’s not that easy.

I tried Journal one time, just to see what the hype was about, and then never used it again. But because I used Journal once, I inadvertently signed up for Journaling Suggestions.

I get suggestions from the Journal app nearly every day now, in the form of notifications, asking me to reflect on whatever I just did, whether it’s a doctor’s appointment, a long bicycle ride or a trip to the grocery store. It knows what I do because I gave it access, without really thinking about it, to my location, photos, contacts and more.

Journal knows what I do, where I go and who I do it with. But because I don’t want to journal anything, I’d prefer Journal not have access to this personal information. And I definitely don’t want to receive any notifications.

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to stop Journal from bugging you ever again. I’ll show you two ways to do it: disable Journaling Suggestions, and stop Journal notifications. Here’s what you need to know.

While you’re here, check out how to fix all the most annoying features and settings in iOS 17, and the best iPhone options out there in 2024.

Watch this: What I Learned Using Apple’s Journal App


Besides the annoying notifications, if you don’t keep a journal, you may not like that the Journal app has access to all of this data. Not only that, this personal information can be shared with other journaling apps that use Apple’s Journaling Suggestions feature.

According to Apple, any information collected is treated in accordance with Apple’s Privacy Policy, which includes end-to-end encryption and other privacy features, but you might just prefer Journal not having access to your information entirely.

To stop Journal from having access to your information (thus also stopping notifications), go to Settings > Journal > Journaling Suggestions > Suggestion Privacy Settings and hit Turn Off All at the top of the page. A pop-up will appear, asking you to confirm that you want to turn off all Journaling Suggestions.

Journaling Suggestions notifications settings Journaling Suggestions notifications settings

You can also configure the notifications so that you only receive notifications in your lock screen or notification center instead of getting banner notifications, but if you want to completely remove notifications, keep Allow Notifications off.

Screenshots by Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Note: This only disables notifications but allows Journal to still have access to your data, and you’ll still see suggestions if you go inside the Journal app.

For more, read all the new features on iOS 17.4 and 17 hidden iOS 17 features and settings.

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